When you’re running a business time is money, so taking time out to restore a website that’s gone down can cost you big. Just like having the company car serviced so you’re prepared for any future issues before they happen, giving your website a warrant of fitness doesn’t take long, but prepares you in the long run.

“Since we launched in April 2017, we’ve seen small businesses and their websites being affected by a range of cyber security issues,” says Erica Anderson, Senior Incident Manager, CERT NZ. “While cyber security can sound pretty complex, or something that small businesses wouldn’t need to worry about, it all boils down to a few simple steps to keep websites safe, secure, and up-and-running.”

CERT NZ works with everyday Kiwis and their businesses, helping them recover from cyber security incidents. This means they’ve got a good understanding of the real-life issues affecting New Zealanders, and the measures they can take to recover.

So what can Kiwi businesses do to protect their websites? CERT NZ has boiled it down to four simple steps: Secure it, Back it, Auto it, and Check it.

Secure it

Your customers trust you to keep their information safe – including the communication that you have with them. An easy way to do this is to make sure your website uses HTTPS everywhere – this includes the content pages of your website and also the areas behind the scenes, like where you log in to make updates.

Auto it

Running a business is hectic – you’ve got heaps of things to remember, from payroll to ordering. Make it easier by setting everything for your website that you can to update automatically. Whether it’s automatically renewing your domain name, updating your software or making backups; you can set and forget and focus on other areas, like converting more customers.

Back it                                    

Even with the best laid plans, things can go wrong. Sometimes it’s because the latest stock order is running late and sometimes it’s because something goes a bit peculiar with your website. Having a recent backup of your website is invaluable if something goes wrong. They’re most useful if they’re recent and cover both the pages themselves and any data your website holds, like customer databases.

Check it

It seems pretty obvious, but one of the best ways to keep your website safe is to keep an eye on it. When you check your website regularly, you’re familiar with what’s on it and it makes it easier to notice when something’s out of place. For example, if you notice some weird content that you didn’t put there, someone else might have access to your website and is using it to host bad content.

Want to know more about how to keep your website safe? Check out CERT NZ’s website for more details on how to protect your website and to download their handy business website checklist www.cert.govt.nz/protect-it